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Ms. Pat on stand-up comedy in the age of Trump

The comedian performs at the Boston Comedy Festival this month.
Ms. Pat
Ms. Pat performs in Somerville this fall. Photo by Getty Images

It hasn't been an easy road to the stage for Patricia Williams, better known in comedy circles as Ms. Pat, but she's finally ready to start a new chapter in her life.

From teen pregnancies and family issues to drug deals and violent shootouts, Ms. Pat had to overcome a lot of adversity while growing up in her rough Atlanta neighborhood. Despite her struggles, which she chronicles in her new memoir "Rabbit," Ms. Pat has slowly become one of comedy's most promising rising stars.

Although she's not exactly a Patriots fan, Ms. Pat couldn't be more excited to return to the Hub for this year's Boston Comedy Festival.

“I love Boston until you guys beat us in the Super Bowl," Ms. Pat says. "I’m a Falcons fan so that broke my heart. I like Boston. It’s a great city other than playing my Falcons.”

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Ahead, we chatted with Ms. Pat about her new book, working on a sitcom with Lee Daniels and her thoughts on comedy in the age of Donald Trump.

Was it tough for you to open up about your rough past in your new autobiography, “Rabbit?”

I learned a lot writing this book, about myself. I didn’t realize I was protecting people that were hurting me the most. Writing this book with co-writer Jeannine Amber, she was able to tell me, “Hey, you got to stop protecting the people who hurt you.” I found myself protecting my mom and my first kids’ father, like, “Don’t write that about them. I don’t want people to think bad about them.” And she’s like, “Are you crazy?” It made me aware of that and allowed me to start healing.

Do you feel like you can start a new chapter of your life now that you’ve finally put your past behind you?

I do. I feel like that’s a chapter in my life I can finally close now.

Looking ahead, it must be exciting to work with Lee Daniels on your upcoming sitcom project.

I have to tell people all the time, this is like co-workers. You don’t get excited about seeing your co-workers, do you? [Laughs] So you don’t let people’s fame go to your head. I tell people, “I’m working.” I know these people are super famous and so many people want to meet them, but I’m working. These are co-workers. That’s how I stay focus. I don’t say, “Lee Daniels, give me an autograph!” But TV is so slow. You can have three babies compared to trying to develop one show.

Every comedian seems to be weighing in on Donald Trump and politics these days. Do you feel pressured to talk about these issues on stage?

Of course, you have to be. You know how you see some comics go, “If you voted for Trump, you’re racist.” I don’t believe that. I just say how I feel about certain things that Trump is doing. I don’t ever try to make my audience feel bad about their choice. I don’t think everybody is racist who voted for Trump, but I will say this: ya’ll should be ashamed.

He blows my mind everyday. I’ve never in my life followed politics the way I follow him. He’s trying to get rid of 800,000 people who came across the border. I can’t put my head around that. How do you get rid of 800,000 people?

There seems to be a new controversy all the time.

Every single day there’s something new. That White House has been lit like a frat party ever since he got there. There’s a new subject every day, honey. Trump’s like that nosy b--- in the ghetto who keeps everything started. Eventually, everybody gets together and beats her ass.

If you go:

Sept. 22, 9:30 p.m., the Rockwell, 255 Elm St., Somerville, $20, bostoncomedyfest.com

 
 
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